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HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Human Trafficking is a crime against humanity. It involves an act of recruiting, transporting, transfering, harbouring or receiving a person through a use of force, coercion or other means, for the purpose of exploiting them. is the modern day practice of slavery. human trafficking comprises the fastest growing criminal industry in the world, based on the recruitment, harboring, and transportation of people only for the purpose of exploitation.

THE ACT (WHAT IS DONE) Recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons THE MEANS (HOW IT IS DONE) Threat or use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or vulnerability, or giving payments or benefits to a person in control of the victim. THE PURPOSE (WHY IT IS DONE) For the purpose of exploitation, which includes exploiting the prostitution of others, sexual exploitation, forced labour, slavery or similar practices and the removal of organs. To ascertain whether a particular circumstance constitutes trafficking in persons, consider the definition of trafficking in the Trafficking in Persons Protocol and the constituent elements of the offense, as defined by relevant domestic legislation.

THE SITUATION The Philippines is a source and, to a much lesser extent, a destination and transit country for men, women, and children who are subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Source The ILO estimates that one million Filipino men and women migrate abroad each year for work opportunities, and that 10 million Filipinos currently live and work abroad. A significant number of these migrants are subjected to conditions of forced labor in factories, at construction sites, on fishing vessels, on agricultural plantations, and as domestic workers in Asia and increasingly throughout the Middle East.

Filipino women in domestic servitude abroad face rape and violent physical and sexual abuse. Skilled Filipino migrant workers, such as engineers and nurses, have also been subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude. Women were trafficked into the commercial sex industry in countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Japan and in various Middle Eastern countries. TRANSIT There are reports that organized crime syndicates have been heavily involved in the commercial sex industry, and that international syndicates transited victims from mainland China through the Philippines to third country destinations. DESTINATION The Philippines is a destination country for a small number of women who are trafficked from the Peoples Republic of China, South Korea, Russia and Eastern Europe for commercial sexual exploitation.

INTERNAL TRAFFICKING Internal trafficking of men, women, and children also remains a significant problem in the Philippines. People are trafficked from rural areas to urban centers including Manila, Cebu, the city of Angeles, and increasingly to cities in Mindanao, as well as within urban areas.
CAUSES There are a number of high-risk factors in the Philippines that can contribute to human trafficking. These include: Conflict between MILF and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) left between 128,000 and 160,000 vulnerable individuals displaced in 2010. Poverty, population growth, and dependency burdens have lead some parents to see child labor as a means to cope with meager family incomes.

Pervasive and persistent poverty, especially in rural areas, high unemployment and underemployment and constraints to small and medium enterprises growth are a few of the challenges facing the Filipino labor force that have lead many to migrate for work. Presence of a large informal economy, estimated to be between 40-80% of Filipino workers, who are for the most part not registered or recorded in official statistics and are beyond the reach of social protection and labor legislation. An estimated 900,000 undocumented Filipinos, mostly based in Mindanao, whose lack of official documentation contributes to the populations vulnerability to trafficking. An established organized crime network that plays upon the above factors and fraudulently recruits persons for jobs that are in reality forced labor situations. Persistent law enforcement officials complicity in human trafficking and corruption at all levels of government that enables traffickers to prosper.

WHO ARE THE VICTIMS?


They can be anyone : Filipino citizens or foreign nationals Any race Male or female Child or adult of any age Rich or poor Educated or uneducated

WHO ARE THE TRAFFICKERS?


Traffickers attract and trap individuals into labor and sex trafficking by using force, lies, or cruelty. Traffickers can be: Pimps Brothel owners People who have servants in their homes Small businesses Criminal networks

THE PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT


The Philippine Government was placed in Tier 2 in the 2011 U.S. Department of States Trafficking in Persons Report for not fully complying with the Trafficking Victims Protection Acts minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but making significant efforts to do so. The Philippines criminally prohibits both sex and labor trafficking through its 2003 Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, which prescribes penalties up to life in prison. The law allows private prosecutors, including NGOs, to file lawsuits against traffickers. During 2010, the Philippine Department of Justice and Supreme Court issued directives to expedite the disposition of backlogged trafficking cases and convicted 25 trafficking offenders.

In the case of child labor, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issued new regulations in 2009 that facilitate the immediate closure of establishments suspected of using children for commercial sex acts, with court hearings to determine the validity of the complaint to be held at a later time. Between 2009 and 2010 DOLE ordered the closure of 22 establishments for allegedly prostituting minors. Trials in these cases are ongoing.

PROSECUTION
In 2010, the Department of Justice ordered prosecutors to make trafficking cases a priority, designating 36 prosecutors to various national, regional, and airport task forces to work on anti-trafficking cases. This task force model ensures that prosecutors assist law enforcement in building cases against suspected trafficking offenders. The government also ran a mandatory training session on trafficking for over 400 judges and expanded anti-trafficking training efforts to several hundred police and law enforcement officers, in partnership with NGOs and foreign donors. However, NGOs reported that despite the trainings there continues to be a lack of understanding of trafficking and the anti-trafficking law among many judges, prosecutors, social service workers, and law enforcement officials.

PROTECTION
The government encourages victims to assist in the investigation and

prosecution of their traffickers, but the governments serious lack of victim and witness protection, exacerbated by a lengthy trial process and fear of retaliation by traffickers, causes many victims to decline or withdraw cooperation. During 2010, the Department of Justice only assisted three trafficking victims pursue cases.

PREVENTION
The Philippine Government supports an array of prevention activities. During 2010, the government increased training and public awareness campaigns on trafficking for judicial officials, law enforcement personnel, local government units, and civil society groups. The government conducted pre-employment seminars for over 100,000 prospective and outbound overseas foreign workers. It also held training seminars for diplomats and embassy personnel in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa on victim identification, reporting of trafficking cases, victim-centered interview techniques, and options for filing trafficking cases against traffickers in the destination countries or in the Philippines.

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
The Philippine Government works with international NGOs and foreign governments to combat human trafficking in the Philippines and of Filipino migrants abroad.

Recommendations
The U.S. Department of State recommends that the Philippine government enact the following measures in its 2011 TIP Report:

Sustain the intensified effort to investigate, prosecute, and convict effectively an increased number of both labor and sex trafficking offenders involved in the trafficking of Filipinos both within the country and abroad; Continue to fund and strengthen the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking and provide full-time staffing and management for the IACAT Secretariat; Address the significant backlog of trafficking cases by developing mechanisms to track and monitor the status of cases filed with the Department of Justice and those under trial in the courts; Strictly enforce anti-corruption laws and expedite adjudication of cases filed by the regional anti-trafficking task forces;

Conduct immediate and rigorous investigations of complaints of trafficking complicity by government officials and ensure accountability for leaders that fail to address trafficking-related corruption within their areas of jurisdiction; Strengthen anti-trafficking training for police recruits, line officers, and police investigators; Make efforts to improve collaboration between victim service organizations and law enforcement authorities with regards to law enforcement operations; Increase victim shelter resources to expand the government shelter system to assist a greater number of trafficking victims, including male victims of both sex and labor trafficking; Increase funding for the Department of Justices program for the protection of witnesses and entry of trafficking victims into the program; Increase efforts to identify trafficking victims in destination countries and to pursue criminal investigation and prosecution of their traffickers; and Develop and implement programs aimed at reducing demand for commercial sex acts.

Since we are Social Work students and soon to be Social Workers, we are deeply concerned about this concern matter, especially to the victims of the crime. Our role is to help them attain the highest possible level of physical, mental, and social well-being and maximizing their potential. Once the physical well-being of these women and girl has been compromised, the health of their potential offspring would also be adversely affected in one way or another. Their health would prevent them from being competitive in the labour market and they cannot be as productive as the average, healthy worker. The deteriorating health standards of this burgeoning group of individuals could strain the social and healthcare systems of the Philippines in the future.